Thought-full Thursday: Living the Questions

“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.”

Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet


  • What questions, if answered, will release your full leadership potential?
  • What questions, if answered, will release the full potential of your employees?
  • What keeps you from asking?
  • What compels you to ask?
  • What questions will you let simmer?

I am a former executive in a Fortune 100 company. I have owned and operated an executive coaching firm since 2003 called Aspire Collaborative Services LLC. We partner with great leaders to help them become even greater at developing, improving, and sustaining relationships with the people who are essential to their success. This blog is for leaders and those who help them to be more intentional about relationships at work. My top personal values include respect for others, kindness, compassion, collaboration and gratitude. I work very hard at practicing my values daily and when I don’t succeed, I practice some more. I am married with two wonderful daughters and two spoiled pugs.

7 comments on “Thought-full Thursday: Living the Questions

  1. It is being in the questions that really makes a difference. The best questions, like you say here “let you simmer”! They have many answers and can be asked over and over again for the rest of your life…delicious!

  2. Mary Jo What if a person is an introvert & lacks confidence and he is unable to ask questions. How should he overcome such problems.

  3. I like how you described some questions as not being able to answer until you actually experience what they are asking. They are important questions too, that we are constantly trying to find the answer to, and there are probably different answers and experiences for each individual. I suppose there is no one answer to each one of these questions and maybe we can’t even answer them until much later as more of a reflection of what happened. However, I think that we should always be asking them and checking where we are at, to see if we are making progress or not.

  4. I truly believe that experiences are the true way of learning. Some things you can learn from a book but until you actually experience things first hand you don’t truly understand the answers. Experiences through life create who we are today and the more you have the more well rounded you become.

  5. Nathaniel, Isn’t it great that the questions mean something different to everyone? They are “customized” by their very nature!

    Eric, how true. Like leadership. It really cannot be taught, but it can be learned. Thanks.

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